Stephen R. Donaldson: Overview

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Editor: Dave Mote
Date: 1997
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 720 words

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Stephen R. Donaldson's first major commercial success as a writer was The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever (1977), which encompasses two trilogies. These six books tell the story of Thomas Covenant, a man who lives in the "real world" but is mysteriously transported to a strange land of magic and giants. The people there believe that he is their messiah, and he is forced to battle the forces of evil in order to save them.

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant falls under the category of "epic fantasy," a type of literature featuring such legendary creatures as elves, dwarves, wizards, and dragons. This type of writing has become immensely popular in the second half of the 20th century after being re-introduced by J. R. R. Tolkien, the British linguist, scholar, and author who published The Lord of the Rings in 1965. Writing in an epic style, Tolkien revived a literary tradition dating back to Sir Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen (1590) and ultimately to the ancient Greek Iliad of Homer. Now, as the 20th century draws to a close, many contemporary authors...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1420002309